When most of us think of digestion, we think of food, and the process of assimilating or absorbing food into our bodies. Many of us are conscious of what we consume, endeavoring to digest more good ingredients than bad.
We look for organic, no additives or chemicals, and avoid overly processed products.
Food is the focal point, yet it is just one of the many things we consume. Words, knowledge, thoughts, water, air – are just a few other things. Shouldn’t we also endeavor to consume the best of those too? And if we are providing food, knowledge, water, air and words for others, doesn’t it make sense to endeavor to serve the best of those ingredients as well?
There is much emphasis placed on the benefits of good digestion. In Ayurvedic science, Agni is responsible for absorbing the nutrients and essential elements the body needs while burning off waste products. If our agni is strong, we’re able to digest food efficiently and easily assimilate our daily experiences. On the other hand, if agni is weak, our body won’t digest well, creating toxic residue that lodges deep in our cells. (http://www.chopra.com/community/online-library/terms/agni-ojas-ama)
“Agni” in Sanskrit means fire. It is the Digestive Fire that grabs the essence of nourishment from food, feelings, and thoughts and transforms it into a form your body can use. How well we digest not only our food, but our thoughts and emotions, plays a critical role in determining our health and well-being on every level. (http://www.holistic-online.com/ayurveda/ayv-key-agni.htm, http://www.lulubandhas.com/yoga/blog/motherofhealth-agni-digestive-fire)
Since food is the focal point of digestion, it is always good practice to focus our diet on pure foods – organic milk, almonds, sesame, honey, rice, and fruits. These are easily digested and your body can easily absorb the nutrients.
Our environment and emotions will affect how strong our digestive fire will burn.
- Eat in a settled atmosphere
- Don’t eat when you’re upset.
- Always sit down to eat (don’t eat in front of your computer or TV or while you’re driving).
- Only eat when you’re hungry.
- Dine at a moderate pace. Don’t gulp down your food or eat too slowly.
- Minimize raw foods, which are much harder to digest than cooked ones.
- Include all six tastes (sweet, sour, astringent, bitter, salty, and pungent) at each meal.
Good digestion is a cornerstone of health. After all, most of us have experienced some of the negative effects of poor digestion – gas, bloating, stomach pain, fatigue and heartburn (among many other symptoms).
By nurturing your digestive fire, you may increase the benefits of the foods you’ve so painstakingly selected, and set your mind and body on path of health.
Grapefruit Apple Juice Smoothie
- 1 grapefruit, peeled, pith and seeds removed
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled
- 1 small apple, cored
- 1 1″ hunk of ginger, peeled
- Juice of 1/4 lemon or lime
- 1/2 cup coconut water or purified water
- 1 drop doTerra grapefruit essential oil
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend to smithereens.